Wednesday, April 21, 2021

In Case You Thought that Solved It

You probably heard that less than a half-hour after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the killing of George Floyd, 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot to death by police in Columbus, Ohio. But you may not have heard this: in the last five years, Columbus police have killed more than 30 people, most of whom were Black, including boys who were 13, 15, and 16. (Source.) 

The city of Columbus has a population of just under 900,000. That makes it a bit more than twice as large as the city of Minneapolis (which has about 430,000 people). According to this compilation from the Star Tribune, there were 8 police killings in Minneapolis in the same time period (one of which was George Floyd). 

So, 30 killings with just over twice the population... while neither example is good, that's pretty bad, Columbus.


Channel 9 News in Denver spent some resources and found out that at least 107 people other than George Floyd were killed in the U.S. since 2010 by cops who were pinning their victim to the ground. One of those people was Eric Garner. More than two-thirds of the dead were Black or Latino. 

And hey, did you know that back in 1995 the U.S. Department of Justice told U.S. police departments: “As soon as the suspect is handcuffed, get him off his stomach”?


The difference between accidental and negligent discharge of a cop's weapon, and why journalists shouldn't parrot police language. This Poynter Institute article gives a detailed analysis of how Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter was negligent in the use of her gun when she shot Daunte Wright. 

The article doesn't get into the fact that the Brooklyn Center traffic stop was unneeded in the first place, and that Potter was clearly training a rookie in how to do pretextual stops. (For instance, that there are currently 500,000 vehicles in Minnesota with expired tabs in a state with just 6 million people, and expired tabs are in forbearance because of COVID.) That she stepped into the space between the rookie and Wright when the rookie bobbled the handcuffs, which were not needed in the first place because Minnesota law does not call for police to arrest a person who's wanted for a misdemeanor warrant. 


Tomorrow I'm going to go sit at the site where Philando Castile was shot and killed by Geronimo Yanez. I'll be thinking about him. And Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, Alton Sterling, Akai Gurley, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Terence Crutcher, Sean Bell, Elijah McClain, Oscar Grant, Korryn Gaines, and the fact that there are other names I can't bring into my mind or never knew.

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